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Tales of the Far, Far Future is a free-to-use science fiction setting for your fiction, RPGs, wargames and more.
This homepage explains the key facts and major factions. Additional lore and images will be added in the form of blog posts. The images are generated by the artificial intelligence at Nightcafe.
We are eighty million years in the far future. No one has ever travelled faster than the speed of light. To reach the stars, humankind had to think creatively.
The Moller Field was first described in the year 2240, in a paper by the Danish physicist Astrid Moller. Inside such a field, time would flow at approximately 0.01% of the local rate. Generating the field was not trivial, but a working prototype was finally shown in 2298.
As a consequence, for the first time in human history, interstellar travel was finally viable. In a spaceship equipped with a Moller Field, travellers would experience a 5,000 year round trip as a mere six months. The catch was, by the time they returned, their loved ones – and whole civilisations – would have turned to dust.
Eventually, a solution emerged.
The origins of the Interstellar Society
In 2301, two hundred and twelve of the world’s richest individuals announced the formation of the Interstellar Society, proposing to live their whole lives in Moller Fields. They reasoned that, if they adopted “Moller Time” as the new norm, interstellar journeys would pass equally quickly for all parties – including those who stayed behind or waited at the destination. In this scenario, humans could have a functioning society that spanned multiple star systems.
The idea proved popular. In 2340, approximately 500,000 super-rich individuals moved to luxury space stations with solar-powered Moller Fields. In these bubbles of slow time, they began to plot their interstellar adventures.
For the Society, it felt like eighteen months before the first starships left the Solar System. For everyone else, fifteen millennia had elapsed. During that time, a series of nuclear wars had reduced the human population of Earth to fewer than a million individuals, all living in a state of primitive barbarism. They no longer remembered the Interstellar Society, or even the possibility of spaceflight, so were surprised when the Society returned briefly to Earth, recruiting a portion of them to use as labour on their journeys to the stars.
The present day
At the time of writing, approximately eighty million years in the far future, human society spans many star systems and has two basic classes.
The elites remain in their Moller Fields, living at 0.01% the normal rate of time, maintaining relationships and correspondence across vast distances. From their point of view, eight thousand and nine standard years have elapsed since the diaspora. Earth itself is a distant memory.
Descendents of the labourers live outside the Moller Fields, performing tasks that need to be done in real time. Left to their own devices, they would soon out-evolve their masters, since they live and reproduce ten thousand times more quickly. To guard against this, the Society makes them live in under brutal regimes where science and innovation are suppressed. They also cull the strongest and brightest specimens, to prevent improvement of the gene pool.
Despite these efforts, genetic drift has occurred, especially on poorly managed worlds. The Interstellar Society are genetically the same as ourselves, but labourers on some of the worlds have evolved into distinct humanoid races. In most cases, when members of the Society try to mate with them, conception is either impossible or leads to infertile offspring.
Apart from the Interstellar Society, there are some other human factions who live under Moller Time and travel the stars. Three of them are collectively known as the Cults of the Maddening.
Shortly before the present, the Interstellar Society noticed an alarming trend, where inhabitants of the most distant worlds were being gripped by various kinds of collective mania. This phenomenon was called the Maddening.
In the years that followed, most of the affected worlds descended into anarchy and destroyed themselves. However, three ceded from the Society and started to attack nearby worlds. At the time of writing, all three are at war with the Society and each other.
The first to emerge was the Cult of Pharphex. After sampling the hallucinogenic spores of their local biome, they claimed to hear a new god laughing in the void. Their religion is a kind of cosmic absurdism, with rituals based on drug-induced euphoria.
The second was the Cult of Shamfaal, who found an enormous alien creature – which they believe to be an avatar of Shamfaal – in a “forest” of sessile lifeforms. They credit Shamfaal with teaching them the path of true self-knowledge, which they interpret as pathological self-loathing. Their rituals are based on self-punishment and the mortification of the flesh.
The third was the Cult of Gluttuk, whose religion is based on gluttony – including (but not limited to) acts of cannibalism. No one knows how or why their religion started, but Gluttuk is associated with the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way.
The Balog Empire
Following the diaspora, there were disagreements over the treatment of labourers, which eventually led to a major schism. The worlds which left founded a short-lived rival called the Interstellar Union, which, after a series of internal power struggles, became the Balog Empire.
In the Empire, labourers are treated even more poorly than they are in the Society. Imperial scientists use them as test subjects for outlandish experiments, the results of which – euphemistically referred to as “special infantry” – are often deployed to the battlefield.
Balog still rules there. Shortly after the founding of his empire, he retired to a nested Moller Field – that is, a field-within-a-field – so he could live one hundred times longer than his subjects. (Note: the reason he will live one hundred times longer, rather than ten thousand, is because his personal Moller Field uses a technique called “strobing” to make the difference less dramatic.)
Four times a standard year, his trusted advisers are allowed to enter his personal quarters, to give him an update and receive his orders. From Balog’s point of view, these meetings occur daily.
Other starfaring peoples
Of the races that evolved from human labourers, the most notable are the Krulaks, who overwhelmed and exterminated a local branch of the Interstellar Society. After studying the secrets of their former oppressors, they were able to make a crude version of the Moller Field, which they now use to raid Society ships and homeworlds.
Lastly, after the Interstellar Society left Earth, the humans who stayed there enjoyed a late renaissance. During that time they created a servant class of Automatons, who survived the extinction of life on Earth and now explore the galaxy as an independent race.